In a typical week, you spend almost as much time with your co-workers as you do with friends and family members.  It’s wonderful if you like your co-workers, but its stressful if you have different personalities that don’t always mix well. While you don’t have to be friends with everyone at work, it’s beneficial for your career if you get along with them. Below are our tips for fostering positive relationships with co-workers so you can get ahead at work.

  1. Set Relationship Boundaries

One of the downsides of relationships at work – whether they are platonic or romantic – is that the personal and professional lines begin to blur. It is important that everyone understands the boundaries of acceptable non-professional interactions at work.

  • Set clear times when non-office topics can be discussed to keep everyone productive.
  • Outline acceptable social media interactions with co-workers.
  • Don’t let professional rivalries color interactions outside the office.
  • Respect everyone’s time while at work. 
  1. Communicate Freely

People need to know that they can say what they think and how they feel without being judged or confronted. Work hard with employees to encourage them to listen to one another and give controversial ideas or opinions the respect they deserve. You don’t have to agree with a person in order to respect them and their ideas.

Communication safe zones have the added benefit of reducing the amount of gossiping and complaining that goes on in the workplace. Less gossip will make work more enjoyable and more productive for everyone.

Mixing personal and professional lives is a difficult balance, but if everyone is on the same page and the guidelines are clear then equilibrium can be established.

  1. Discuss Personal Goals

Once clear relationship boundaries are established, it is important to set aside time every day or week to get to know people on a personal level. This is especially important for managers and team leaders. Learning about your co-workers’ dreams and goals outside of work helps you learn more about one another and can help you learn to collaborate effectively while making work enjoyable.

  1. Be Accessible

If you have worked at the same company for five years, don’t limit your socialization with your fellow diehards. Be accessible to new hires and people in other departments. Getting to know your younger co-workers allows you to help them adjust to the culture of the organization. And their enthusiasm may help you remember why you joined the company in the first place.

  1. Choose Your Battles

When mistakes happen at work, people often start playing the blame game. Employees are habitually reluctant to admit their mistakes or are quick to tell management who’s to blame. This behavior destroys trust and poisons the work environment.

If you make a mistake at work, admit it and help to rectify the situation. If you didn’t make the mistake but know who did, don’t rush to tell management whom the culprit is. Encourage the person to come forward, but don’t out the person to save your position.

Improving your relationship with your co-workers is about trust, respect, open communication and personal responsibility. If you are looking to improve your interpersonal skills and job performance, contact Job Store Staffing. Our experts will help you find a job you love.

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